Special teams were very special for the Abbotsford Pilots on Friday.
Tied 1-1 with the North Vancouver Wolf Pack in the first period, the Pilots killed off a two-minute 5-on-3 and carried some of that momentum into the second period.
Forward Brady Morton pounced on a loose puck in the second period to give Abbotsford a 2-1 lead and that proved to be the difference. The Pilots faced several more shorthanded situations, but goalie Jacob Crawford was strong between the pipes. He stopped 33 of 34 shots for the win.
“Our special teams were outstanding tonight – especially the penalty kill,” said Pilots head coach Jim Cowden. “Our penalty killers [Philip] Gauthier, [Mateo] Toledo and [Joel] Balzer were outstanding on the kill for us tonight.”
Cowden said it was a nice bounce back game from Crawford, after he struggled a bit in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Langley Knights in Langley.
It was only the seventh loss of the season for the defending PJHL champion Wolf Pack, who are in first place in the Tom Shaw Conference.
The Pilots record improved to 14 wins, eight losses and one overtime loss after the pair of games. They are in second place in the Harold Brittain Conference, but can make up some ground on the first place Mission City Outlaws when Mission comes to the MSA Arena on Friday.
Read Wednesday’s print edition of the Abbotsford News for more details on the Pilots pair of games.